March 19 2020

Burlington Food Pantry Lists Needed Items as They Serve Community and Run Emergency Lunch & Breakfast Program for Students

By: Rich Hosford

People Helping People and the Burlington Food Pantry are continuing to serve those in need in the community as they always do as well as provide breakfast and lunches to school children who receive free or reduced lunch when school is in session. 


“We have been working closely with the Burlington Public School System to make sure we reach any families who need extra help due to the cancellation of school,” a notice from People Helping People states. “We also want to thank Saint Mark’s church for the use of their church hall as well as the school department for making food donations to the program.”


The Emergency School Lunch & Breakfast Program involves one weekly pickup of food for five days worth of lunches and breakfast. The food is available for pick up Tuesdays from 3 to 7 p.m., Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursdays 10 a.m. to noon. .


The Food Pantry also remains open, operating with the usual distribution hours: Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesdays from 3to 7 p.m. and Thursdays 10 a.m. to noon. 


“As the situation continues to evolve, we are doing our best to modify procedures to continue to serve anyone in need and still keep everyone involved safe,” the notice states. “As of today (Thursday, March 19), we are implementing a drive up system, where families fill out a weekly packing list for fresh food, which will be accompanied by generic bags of shelf stable items.” 


People Helping People encourages any individuals or families who are experiencing financial difficulty during this pandemic to call them for assistance in meeting their need for food. Anyone sick or unable to get out should call them and they will make arrangements. The number is 781-270-6625. 


If you would like to donate food and/or basic necessities to help the efforts, some of the greatest needs are:


- spaghetti sauce

- cereal

- instant oatmeal

- vegetable oil

- condiments: mustard, ketchup, mayo, salad dressing

- 100% juice boxes

- dish soap

- toothpaste

- shampoo

- ready-to-eat chicken soup

- peanut butter

- jelly

- 2lb bags of sugar


Donations can be made at the pantry during the times listed above that it is open. There is also a list of drop-off locations you can find here but it may be prudent to call ahead to ensure they are open to the public.


Monetary donations can be made online at or mailed to People Helping People, Inc., P.O. Box 343, Burlington, MA 01803.  


“We want to thank everyone who has donated or offered to volunteer to help us rally to meet the increased needs within the community,” the notice reads. “We especially want to thank Melanie Goshgarian, who on short notice has pulled together an Emergency School Lunch Program and set up a Facebook fundraising page.”


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